Term Paper Assignment

Term Paper Assignment

Honors 200/368: Gothic Travel-Study Course

Dr. Longacre/Spring 18

“The Gothic: Defining British Literature”

Final Draft

On the relationship between Gothic and Britishness, Fred Botting writes, “Articulating different, popular and often marginalized forms of writing in periods and genres privileged as Romanticism, Realism and Modernism, Gothic writing emerges as the thread that defines British literature.” Botting describes “excess” and “a fascination with transgression and the anxiety over cultural limits and boundaries” as the defining characteristics of the Gothic as both style and genre.

Focusing on 3 or 4 specific texts we have read this semester (you may refer to other texts in passing too if you’d like, but your focus should be on developing analytical content around 3-4 representative texts), write a substantial, well-structured, thesis-driven essay with an introduction, several body paragraphs, and a conclusion defining and locating the Gothic within the context of British literature and culture. It’s not strictly required, but it may be useful to focus on defining the Gothic through a specific trope (i.e. the Gothic Hero/Heroine; the Monster; Gothic Spaces; etc) to keep you grounded and focused on specific topic. Minimum length requirement: 6-8 pages (excluding Works Cited page).

Research Component

You will need to use and cite at least 2-3 secondary sources (that is in addition to your 3-4 primary texts) and produce a minimum of 4-6 in-text citations of the secondary sources’ ideas in the form of summaries, paraphrases, and direct quotations about the effectiveness of those ideas in solving interpretive dilemmas as they intersect with the text and your own reading of it. You will be assessed, in part, on your direct engagement with the primary text through analysis of words, phrases, and sentences on one level and an overall impact of the literary text as a complete unit of meaning at a second level. Your outside sources should support and compliment your own writing, not the other way around. This is NOT a survey of research or an informational report. I am interested in YOUR ideas and in YOUR engagement with the text(s) beyond the scope of this class.


Your final draft should also be revised, edited, and grammatically sound, as is expected of college-level writing (remember that ENGL 111 and 112 are prerequisites for this course so I expect you to already have the required writing and research background for academic writing). Your papers should conform to MLA or APA style, citation, and format guidelines, and your final draft should be polished and professional in appearance. You must cite sources properly (parenthetically in your text and on a Works Cited page) and be very careful that you avoid plagiarism! Ask me if you have any questions about this.

Deadline: Monday, April 30th, 11:59pm

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